Nov 21 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to open higher on Thursday as investors awaited a flurry of U.S. macroeconomic data including initial and continuing claims, producer price and manufacturing index numbers.
* The fragile global economic recovery took a step backwards this month as businesses across the euro zone and China's vast factory sector grew at a milder pace, business surveys showed.
* Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the U.S. and euro zone economies are gaining strength, seeking to dispel concerns among other policymakers that Japan's export engine and broader recovery were vulnerable to weakness overseas.
* Gildan Activewear reported a 9 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit, helped by lower cotton prices and higher sales in its printwear business.
* Sears Holdings Corp, which operates its eponymous department stores and the Kmart discount chain, reported a wider quarterly net loss as sales fell at both chains and it invested in more promotions targeting rewards members.
* Canada stock futures traded up 0.18 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.15 percent to 0.28 percent
* European shares, were mixed
COMMODITY PRICE MOVES
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 274.0452; rose 0.07 percent
* Gold futures : $1,247.1; fell 0.86 percent
* US crude : $94.08; rose 0.25 percent
* Brent crude : $108.36; rose 0.28 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $6,985.5; fell 0.15 percent
CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH
* Niko Resources Ltd : The oil and gas producer said CEO Ed Sampson will retire at the end of the calendar year and will be replaced by Frederic Brace on an interim basis from Jan. 1.
* Oncolytics Biotech Inc : The company said its lead cancer drug improved survival rates in patients with head-and-neck cancer, compared to those receiving chemotherapy alone. [ID: nL4N0J62NJ]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Agrium Inc : Raymond James starts with outperform rating, says the company's unique business mix affords it a superior 2-year earnings growth profile.
* Davis + Henderson Corp : CIBC raises price target to C$31 from C$27, says the company will be firing on all cylinders in executing on its fin tech strategy.
* Niko Resources Ltd : Canaccord Genuity cuts target price to C$1.50 from C$4 as the company announced the retirement of CEO Ed Sampson.
ON THE CALENDAR
* No major Canadian economic data scheduled for the day
* Major U.S. events and data includes PMI, PPI, initial claims and continuing claims